Will has become obsessed with bitter memories of his parents, dead at Xax's hands. Despite Kalem's warning that he must concentrate on his Quest, Will cannot leave aside fruitless thoughts of revenge.
Kreel has a new plan for subjugating Kale. He is beginning to form a Youth Brigade - "educating" the children of the various regions and villages to form a spy network. One of these is Lucien, a boy of around Vara's age, whose home - the Hidden Valley - is known to Will of old.
Will believes the Hidden Valley will prove a safe haven for his exhausted group - but its people are strangely altered. Leon discovers Kreel has contaminated the water supply with the powerful hypnotic substance lythmarg - the "waking sleep" - and in so doing has created a class of willing slaves.
Leon can brew an antidote, but he feels that there is no time for this - amongst such zombies they are all in great danger, and should move on immediately.
Will feels a loyalty to the villagers who treated him so kindly as a child, and insists they be saved - but Xax, drawn psychically to Will by the strength of his rage, is already on his way to the valley, with a phalanx of Warriors behind ...
At Will's insistence, the antidote is brewed and administered, and the villagers come to their senses in time to defend their home. Aruna and Leon start a rockslide and close the only entrance to the Valley in front of Xax and his troops.
Lucien, shocked by the role he has played in the subjugation of his people, abandons his role of spy. The Youth Brigade is dissolved.
In the rockslide Will has been grievously wounded. Kalem appears to the band and tells them that in order for Will to survive, they must forgive him for allowing his own passions to lead them into such danger. They agree. Will is restored in time to help the villagers escape from Xax.
Will learns his lesson: bitter thoughts of the past will blur his judgment, and compromise the Quest for the Crystal Arrow.